"We have two great power-play units and we have tons of talent
on both of them so it's always fun to get out there on the power
play and move the puck around," said Spezza, who played 33 games
as a rookie last season.
New Senators owner Eugene Melnyk -- who hired the Eagles to play
a concert for season-ticket holders Wednesday -- addressed the
sellout crowd of 18,500 during pregame ceremonies which honored the
team's standout season and commemorated two losses to the NHL
Even without unrestricted free agent Martin Havlat, Ottawa's
power-play unit excelled, scoring on two of its first three
opportunities while building a 3-1 lead in the first.
"Whenever you're down 3-1 in the first it's always hard to come
back, especially against a team like Ottawa," Canadiens goalie
Jose Theodore said.
Spezza, Alfredsson and Phillips each had two points for the
Senators, and Patrick Lalime made 27 saves.
"It just seems like the power play was really good when we
needed it today, which was nice to see since we struggled with it
in the preseason," Alfredsson said. "Overall we made the most of
our chances and Lalime was great in our net."
Ron Hainsey and Mike Ribeiro scored for Montreal, which hired
former captain Bob Gainey to take over as general manager after the
Canadiens missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years
last season -- unprecedented in the storied franchise's long
"We weren't patient tonight," Canadiens coach Claude Julien
said. "We gambled and that left Jose on his own on a lot of
occasions. That wasn't the type of game that we want to play."
A banner was unveiled during pregame ceremonies that recognized
the Senators' first Presidents' Trophy.
A moment of silence was held in memory of Atlanta center Dan
Snyder, who died Sunday from injuries suffered in a car wreck with
teammate Dany Heatley.
Senators assistant coach Roger Neilson, who died the day of the
NHL draft in June, also was remembered in a video tribute.
"It was a bit of a rollercoaster there from ceremony to
ceremony," Phillips said. "To see that banner come down, the guys
that were here last year will have a part of that forever.
"Dan Snyder's story is tragic and heartfelt all around the
league. It's a tough situation, as well as Roger and how much he
meant to the guys in this dressing room and the mark he left on our
coaching staff. He just passed so much on to everybody.
"And then to bring out our new owner, that was a good way to
finish off the ceremonies on a high note and we carried on from
Spezza opened the scoring 5:10 in, beating Theodore through the
legs on a pass from Radek Bonk just 21 seconds after Montreal was
called for too many men on the ice.
Neil deflected Wade Redden's shot at 17:42 to put the Senators
up 2-1. Schastlivy scored Ottawa's second power-play goal with six
seconds left in the period.
"We have a lot of great hockey players and when you get power
plays, you have to try to take advantage of them," Spezza said.
"We work on our power play a lot and it pays off for us."
Phillips completed a two-on-one with Marian Hossa 9:17 into the
second to increase the lead to 4-1.
Ribeiro scored at 14:40 of the second to draw Montreal within
Alfredsson restored Ottawa's three-goal lead at 17:05.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman drew boos when his name was
announced as he was shown on the video board making a $20,000
contribution to Neilson's charity during the second period. ...
Montreal opened the season without captain Saku Koivu and center
Chad Kilger, who are recovering from preseason injuries. ... Spezza
scored three of his seven goals last season on the power play. ...
Senators center Todd White left the game in the third with an upper